JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has warned that with the advent of globalisation and the ferocity of competition, countries like Jamaica are being forced to become as good as the best and better than the rest.
He said the demands to become more competitive will be particularly important at this time, because Jamaica has entered into significant trading arrangements through the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed on Wednesday with the European Union.
Speaking at the National Quality and Innovation Awards Ceremony and dinner at the Pegasus hotel last night (Oct 16), Mr. Golding said that by signing these two agreements we are accepting as a norm, the reality of competing on equal terms with other countries, some of which are far more advanced in productive efficiency than Jamaica.
“We know the price we paid in Caricom trade where our goods were displaced by other countries like Trinidad. We are now entering upon trading relations with Europe but this might not be as bizarre as some people might make it out to be. Trading arrangements involve risks but with risks also come new opportunities”, Mr. Golding noted.
He said that we can no longer maintain the protective walls around us. “Part of the dysfunctionality of protective arrangement is that it has prevented us from coming to terms with our own inefficiencies and taking the steps necessary to become efficient”. He said we must wake up to the fact that if we are to survive, we have to get tough. “We must become efficient and stand on our own two legs and say we are here as part of the market and we want our little stall. In that stall we are going to be an efficient producer”, Mr. Golding said.
He said the emphasis placed on quality, innovation and creativity through the National Quality and Innovation Awards, has become very important because these are the things that will allow us to take our place in the competitive global market.
“We are never going to be mass producers. We are not China or India. We can’t flood the market with our goods but what we need to do is find our niche in that big market and take the steps to become more efficient”, he said.
The National Quality Awards, seek to recognise and award establishments that have demonstrated excellence in the adherence to a quality system. It is presented by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in association with the Bureau of Standards and the Scientific Research Council. Last night the Innovators Major Awards went to Automatic Transfer Switch (winner); the Cardiac Surgery Simulator (first runner up) and GoGsat (second runner-up). Presentation of the Major National Quality awards went to Jamaica Producers for Excellence in manufacturing; Beaches Boscobel for Excellence in Service and the award for Excellence in small Business went to Indes Pharma.